New data produced for Fire Door Safety Week shows that lower income tenants are more concerned about fire safety where they live but are less informed about how to protect themselves and are less able to move away from perceived danger.
Just a third of the lowest income households renting flats say they have been given information on the emergency fire plan for the building where they live, compared to 88 per cent of tenants on incomes over £100,000 a year.
Those on incomes of £25,000 or less are much less likely to feel completely safe from fire (27 per cent) than those on incomes above £80,000 (44 per cent).
But two out of every nine households with incomes under £25,000 living in rented flats who have concerns over fire safety are unable to move because they can’t afford to.
More than half of all tenants and over 70 per cent of lower income tenants have no idea who the ‘Responsible Person’ is for the building where they live – the person to whom they should usually report their fire safety concerns. Some 15 per cent of all tenants living in blocks of flats who have got fire safety concerns have never reported those concerns to anyone at all.
Fire Door Safety Week runs up to Saturday this week and aims to raise awareness of the critical role that fire doors play in protecting property and saving lives, and to stamp out bad practice.
The campaign is organised by the British Woodworking Federation, the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme, in partnership with the Government’s safety campaign Fire Kills.
“Fire safety in private and public sector rented housing, especially Houses in Multiple Occupation and older, less well maintained blocks of flats, continues to be a serious challenge. Yet these are often homes for the people with the fewest choices about where they live and the least opportunity to move” says a spokeswoman.
“We frequently see fire doors in blocks of flats in a poor state of repair; fire doors that won’t close; fire doors that have been wedged open. This is, of course, just one aspect of fire safety in these buildings, but good fire doors are often a sign of good fire safety generally” she says.